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Things to do in Northumberland

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Hadrian's Wall - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com Northumberland, the most northerly county in north east England, has a long coastline with many fine beaches and coastal walks.

The county is largely unspoiled and encompasses Northumberland National Park.

There are many Roman remains here, the most notable being Hadrian's Wall.

In Northumberland more castles are open to the public than in any other county.

The village of Seaton Sluice on the southern coast of Northumberland has an interesting harbour and manmade island.

It was created by the Delaval family in 1770s. The Delaval family home is Seaton Delaval Hall.

Lying a short distance inland, this is a masterpiece designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, is well worth seeing.

Set in the Blyth Valley, the town of Blyth is a busy seaport and the largest market town in Northumberland. South of the harbour, the sandy beach is ideal for windsurfing. The town is home to Royal Northumberland Yacht Club, offering sailing tuition at the County's premier harbour. Plessey Wood

Cramlington is the newest town in Northumberland. It's a centre for modern industry. It's well laid out with an attractive shopping centre, leisure facilities, footpaths and a cycleway network.

East Cramlington is the site of Project 2000 Botanic Gardens - a botanic garden and arboretum conserving beautiful trees and flowering plants. The site is open daily, year round.

Plessey Woods Country Park, beside the River Blyth, contains 100 acres of mature woodland, meadow and riverside with picnic areas and an information centre.


The Wansbeck district takes its name from the local river. Newbiggin by the Sea has the oldest operational the RNLI lifeboat station in the country. It was established in 1851. Bedlington lies inland, and it's a town whose name dog lovers may be familiar with. The locally bred 'Bedlington Terriers' resemble young lambs and are a popular breed. Bedlington Country Park on the banks of the River Blyth, encompasses nature trails and woodland walks.

In Ashington, Woodhorn Colliery Museum gives a fascinating insight into the areas past history of coal mining. Ashington is developing new industries and has good shopping and leisure amenities. QEII Country Park has a large lake enjoyed by windsurfers and fishermen. It's set in parkland, and is complete with walks and nature trails. Wansbeck Riverside Country Park contains, children's play areas, boating and fishing facilities and a four mile walk to the mouth of the River Wansbeck.

Cambo - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com The Chantry, in Bridge Street Morpeth is home to Chantry Bagpipe Museum. Northumberland is unique in having its own musical instrument - the Northumberland pipes.


Morpeth is an attractive market town, the administrative centre for the County. Sir John Vanbrugh designed The Town Hall in 1714. A rare 15th century clock tower in the town centre still strikes the curfew at 8.00pm each evening. Several bridges cross the River Wansbeck, leading to pleasant riverside walks. Morpeth is ideally situated for exploring the large area reaching from the coast of Druridge Bay, inland through moors, wooded valleys and historic villages. One of these is Cambo, the birthplace of Capability Brown the landscape architect. Nearby is the 17th century Wallington Hall. It's set in 100 beautiful acres of gardens and parkland and is well worth a visit. Hexham - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com


In the Tynedale district, tourist information is available in the ancient market town of Hexham. Hexham Abbey dates from the 12th century, but the remains of the crypt of the Saxon church can still be seen. The Border History Museum featuring the history of the Border Reivers is located in the Old Gaol. The town is home to Northumberland's only racecourse, Hexham Racecourse. Hexham is a good base for visitors to Hadrians Wall, part of which runs through Tynedale.


Tynedale also encompasses Kielder Water and Forest. This is Britain's largest man made forest covering some 230 square miles. It's home to native red squirrels, roe deer and a variety of bird life. Walking, cycling, horse riding fishing and bird watching are all popular pursuits in this area. For further information contact the Forest Information Centre at Kielder Castle.

Kielder Water, within the forest is the largest man made lake in Western Europe. With 27 miles of shore line there is plenty of room for a wide variety of water sports, fishing and ferry cruising. The main water sports centre is at Leaplish waterside Park.

Heritage Coast

Craster Kippers - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com Visitors to Northumberland are often drawn to the 'Heritage Coast'. This is an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' covering some 40 miles from Amble in the south to Berwick-upon-Tweed in the north. With clean sandy beaches and unspoiled seaside towns like Warkworth its attractions are many.

Warkworth is enclosed on three sides by the River Coquet and dominated by the remains of Warkworth Castle. Alnmouth, on the River Aln estuary is a pretty town and home of the 4th oldest golf course in England. The fishing village of Craster has a picturesque harbour with traditional fishing boats (cobles) and is renowned for its production of Craster kippers (oak smoked herring).

Inland, in the lovely Coquet Valley, is the ancient market town Rothbury. The Northumberland National Park Centre is situated in the town. The first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity is to be found on a hill outside the town. The house, Cragside, and its grounds are open to the public. Alnwick Castle - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com


Alnwick retains its historic atmosphere with cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and fine buildings. Alnwick Castle was a great Border Stronghold. It's the second largest inhabited castle in England and has been home to the Percy family since 1309. Alnwick Garden, a vision of the Duchess of Northumberland, was opened to the public in 2002. It is still being developed, but has been visited by millions of people from around the world. It's a huge tourist attraction for the north of England.

The Islands off the Northumberland Coast

Coquet Island lies off the shore at Amble and is managed by the RSPB. It's home to Puffins, Common and Roseate Terns and Eider Ducks. Boat trips can be taken from May to September to see the birds. While they can be observed from the boats landing is not permitted.

Farne Island - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.comThe Farne Islands, a group of some 30 islands, are midway between the fishing villages of Seahouses and Bamburgh. They're one of Europe's most important seabird sanctuaries and are home to nesting puffins, guillemots and kittiwakes in addition to a colony of Atlantic grey seals. Boat trips leave from Seahouses to visit the Farne Islands. Only Inner Farne and Staple are open to visitors from April to September.


Bamburgh Castle - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is linked to the mainland by a causeway which is submerged by high tides twice a day. St. Aiden founded Lindisfarne Monastery in 635. It was here that the Lindisfarne Gospels were written. While these gospels are now in the British Library visitors can view a computerised version in the Lindisfarne Heritage Centre. Lindisfarne Castle is also to be found here. It was built with stones from the priory and is a landmark for miles along the coast.

In the north of the County Bamburgh Castle dominates the Northumberland landscape. It overlooks the village of Bamburgh which is home to Grace Darling Museum. This RNLI museum commemorates the heroine and her father (the keeper of Longstone lighthouse), who rescued survivors from the shipwrecked SS Forfarshire in 1838.


Berwick Upon Tweed - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com The most northern town in England - Berwick-upon-Tweed has changed hands between England and Scotland many times throughout its history.

During the reign of Elizabeth I the town walls were built to protect it from invading Scots. Today they are still the most complete Tudor walls in Britain. There is a two mile walk to enjoy along the top of the walls, taking in magnificent views as you go. The 15 arch stone bridge over the River Tweed was built in 1611 to connect the town with Tweedmouth across the estuary.

Days out in Northumberland

  • Alnwick Castle
    The mighty medieval fortress of Alnwick Castle is one of Europe's finest, set in a stunning landscape.
    Alnwick Castle
  • Bamburgh Castle
    Standing on a rocky outcrop overlooking miles of beautiful sandy beach, Bamburgh Castle dominates the Northumbrian landscape.
    Bamburgh Castle
  • Belsay Hall
    With its 19th century hall, Grade I listed gardens and 14th century castle, Belsay Hall is one of the best-value days out in Northumberland.
    Belsay Hall
  • Chesters Roman Fort
    Chesters Roman Fort and Museum is the best preserved Roman cavalry fort in Britain and as such makes a very interesting place to visit.
    Chesters Roman Fort
  • Chillingham Castle
    Visitors to Chillingham may recognise this wonderful 12th Century castle from its frequent appearences on TV and in films, including Elizabeth, The Real Harry Potter and many others.
    Chillingham Castle
  • Cragside
    Enter the world of Lord Armstrong - Victorian inventor, innovator and lanscape genius. Cragside house was the wonder of its age, and the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity.
  • Dunstanburgh Castle
    Standing on a dramatic headland overlooking the North East coast, Dunstanburgh was once the largest castle in Northumberland.
    Dunstanburgh Castle
  • Farne Islands
    A visit to the Farne Islands is like a trip to another land - one inhabited by thousands of nesting seabirds rarely seen on mainland Britain.
    Farne Islands
  • Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum
    The museum collection covers the railways of North-East England, with particular emphasis on the Darlington area. Of greatest significance is Stephenson's "Locomotion" (1825)
    Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum
  • Herterton House Garden and Nursery
    Created by Frank and Marjorie Lawley since 1976, this is a small (1 acre) new country garden on 17th Century lines.
    Herterton House Garden and Nursery
  • Hexham Racecourse
    Perched on Yarridge Heights high above the historic market town, Hexham Racecourse has been the home of National Hunt racing in Northumberland for well over a century. It is now Northumberland's only racecourse.
    Hexham Racecourse
  • Housesteads Roman Fort
    Housesteads claim to fame is that it is the most complete example of any Roman fort remaining in Britain.
    Housesteads Roman Fort
  • Howick Hall Gardens
    The gardens at Howick are deliberately aimed at garden lovers and we intend to keep them free from commercial exploitation.
    Howick Hall Gardens
  • Hull and East Riding Museum
    Located in the attractive Museums Quarter, the Hull and East Riding Museum boasts some of the most spectacular natural history and archaeology displays in Britain.
    Hull and East Riding Museum
  • Lindisfarne Castle
    Perched atop a rocky crag and accessible over a causeway at low tide only, Lindisfarne Castle presents an exciting and alluring aspect.
    Lindisfarne Castle
  • Lindisfarne Priory
    Home to the Lindisfarne Gospels, a trip to Holy Island and the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory have all the ingredients for a great family day out in Northumberland.
    Lindisfarne Priory
  • Paxton House
    Built in 1758 to the design of John Adam for the dashing Scottish Laird, Patrick Home of Billie, Paxton House is the finest eighteenth century Palladian Country House in Britain.
    Paxton House
  • Pleasure Island Theme Park
    Pleasure Island is packed with fun, thrills and spills! Whether its Dad surging on the Hyper Blaster or Mum grooving to the Musical Time Machine a fantastic day out is guaranteed for all. NB Pleasure Island is now closed to the public.
    Pleasure Island Theme Park
  • Seaton Delaval Hall
    Seaton Delaval Hall is a splendid English baroque house, regarded by many as Sir John Vanbrugh's masterpiece.
    Seaton Delaval Hall
  • Wallington Hall
    Wallington Hall in Northumberland has a number of interesting claims to fame. It has the largest farm shop on any National Trust property.
    Wallington Hall
  • Woodhorn Museum
    Woodhorn, just 20 minutes north of Newcastle Upon Tyne, is an amazing day out for all ages at any time of year.Inspired by monster coal cutting machines once used deep underground, the stunning Cutt
    Woodhorn Museum

Places to Visit in Northumberland

  • Aldborough
    The charming village of Aldborough, was once the important Roman garrison town of Isurium Brigantium a major settlement for the Brigantes, the largest tribe in Roman Britain.
  • Alnmouth
    Alnmouth was once one of the most important medieval sea ports between the Tweed and Tyne.
  • Alnwick
    Alnwick is the historic county town of Northumberland. Cobbled streets, narrow alleys and fine buildings combine to make Alnwick one of the most picturesque market towns, it is situated in the very heart of Northumberland.
  • Amble
    Amble is at the mouth of the River Coquet. From the harbour you can see the daily catches of fish being unloaded; view the stunning sight of Warkworth Castle on the horizon. The RSPB reserve lies a mile off the coastline on Coquet Island.
  • Ashington
    There is no escape from the fact that coal was largely responsible for the development of Ashington. Prior to the first efforts to extract coal early in the nineteenth century, the town was little more than a collection of farms.
  • Bamburgh
    Nestled on the Northumberland coast beside its landmark castle is the large village of Bamburgh. It is 50 miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and less than 20 miles south of the Scottish Borders
  • Beadnell
    The North Sea coastal village of Beadnell lies just to the southeast of Bamburgh in Northumberland.
  • Beal
    Beal is a tiny hamlet close to the North Sea coast in Northumberland. Its main claim to fame is that it is on the route to the tidal island of Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island.
  • Bedlington
    Bedlington has seen the effects of two major industries on the town. Early growth was due to the development of the first malleable railtrack and the production of some landmark locomotives.
  • Berwick-upon-Tweed
    The attractive town of Berwick-Upon-Tweed has many pleasant Georgian buildings and is situated at the mouth of the famous River Tweed where it joins the sea at the end of a winding, one hundred mile path
  • Birtley
    The picturesque village of Birtley has its own quiet pub, village hall, medieval church and Post Office. Three miles away is Wark with a general store, a butchers and a choice of public houses and hotel restaurants. A bus service takes the
  • Boroughbridge
    Boroughbridge officially dates from the time of William the Conqueror. Although the site itself, is thought to have been occupied as far back as the bronze age.
  • Cambois
    Few villages anywhere in the UK can boast such a magnificent beach. Once an industrial eyesore Cambois is quickly regaining its tranquillity, clean clear water washes onto the unspoilt beach.
  • Craster
    Craster - Internationally famous for its traditionally oak smoked kippers and salmon, it is also the starting point for a spectacular coastal walk to the impressive ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle.
  • Cresswell
    Cresswell is a small Northumberland village, popular with walkers and bird watchers. It is situated on the North Sea coast, about four miles north of the small town of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, on the wide sweep of Druridge Bay.
  • Greenhead
    The small community of Greenhead has been at the centre of human activity for thousands of years. It stands on the Tipalt Burn, a tributary of the River South Tyne
  • Haydon Bridge
    Haydon Bridge is located centrally between Newcastle and Carlisle in the beauiful Tyne Valley. Ideally located for basing your stay to visit the Hadrians Wall and many other sites including Allen Banks, Plankey Mill and John Martins walk.
    Haydon Bridge
  • Holy Island
    Holy Island is just off the north coast of England in Northumberland. Also known by its historic name of Lindisfarne, it is joined to the mainland by a tidal causeway.
    Holy Island
  • Humshaugh
    Humshaugh is a small village is just north of Chollerford, which is located near Chesters Fort on Hadrian's Wall and is about 21 miles west of Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Marshall Meadows
    We have just received a description of Marshall Meadows from one of our readers. This description is currently being prepared for publication and will appear on this page within the next few days.
    Marshall Meadows
  • Masham
    Masham is a historic town - a natural gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. A weekly market has been held here since 1393 and in December a special Victorian market is followed by a torchlight procession.
  • Newbiggin by the Sea
    Newbiggin By The Sea is an attractive seaside town which, over the centuries, has made good use of its links with the sea.
    Newbiggin by the Sea
  • Norham
    In historical terms the small village of Norham (known locally as Norrum) punches far, far above its weight.
  • Otterburn
    Otterburn is a small Northumberland village situated on the banks of the River Rede where it merges with the Otter Burn, which gave the village its name.
  • Ripon
    The Cathedral City of Ripon is to be found in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside with the ruins of Fountains Abbey, one of the most historic sites in Europe, lying just outside its boundaries.
  • Rothbury
    The Ancient market town of Rothbury, on the River Coquet can trace its origins back to c.1100. In the surrounding hills there is evidence of much earlier Bronze Age settlements, hill forts and cup and ring marks.
  • Seahouses
    Seahouses is a village on the North Northumberland coast and is known as the Gateway to the Farne Islands. It is situated between Alnwick and Bamburg.

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